ABRIDGEMENT OF THE PSALTER, in Latin, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
210 x 150 mm. 76 ff: 14, 2-712, COMPLETE, vertical catchwords, some prickings remain, ruled with 25 horizontals and two verticals in pale brown ink, justification: 150 x 90 mm, written in fine gothic script in brown ink, with frequent calligraphic flourishes and cadels, rubrics in red, capitals stroked with yellow wash, one LARGE PUZZLE INITIAL WITH A MARGINAL EXTENSION in red and blue and intricate penwork in brown, one two-line initial in blue with red penwork, one-line initials alternately blue with red flourishing or red with brown, paraphs alternately red or blue (added marginalia sometimes cropped, large initial smudged, some cockling). 18th-century brown calf, with gilt oval centrepiece on each cover, the upper cover also with a larger blind oval stamp, depicting St Augustine enthroned between two keeling friars, above a legend '[F. AE]GIDIVS [R]OMANVS', the whole surrounded by + GENERAL. CONVEN. PARISI. ORD. EREM. S.AVGVSTINI (W.H.J. Weale, Bookbindings and Rubbings of Bindings in the National Art Library, South Kensington Museum, 1898, p.235 no 587) (scuffed and worn, rebacked).
APPARENTLY THE AUTHOR'S OWN COPY, ANNOTATED BY HIM; he records that he finished composing the text at Castel San Pietro, near Bologna, while he was with the anti-pope John XXIII (1410-1415): at the end of the main text is written by a contemporary hand: 'Hic fini op(er)a mea. du(m) era(m) inusita(ti)s[?] (cum) d(ominus) n(oster) p(a)p(a) io(hannes) 23. in cast(r)o s(an)c(t)i pet(r)i bonon(iensis) dioc(esis) io. ost.' (f.67v), followed by a rhymed request for prayers 'Do tibi flores, pro nobis omnibus ores' (I give flowers to you, pray for us all). The anti-Pope John XXIII was in Castel San Pietro in 1410, when he took refuge from the plague that was raging in Bologna, and the final page of the volume has a plague-prayer ('... pestem ab hac civitate fuga ...'). It was presumably also the author of the main text who wrote next to the start of the capitula 'sequencia non sunt meam, sed Cassiodorii' (f.68v). Tantalisingly, he only gives us the first letters of his names, 'Io. Ost.', and while the forename was doubtless Iohannes the surname is uncertain, but if he was Italian, Ostiensis (i.e. Giovanni d'Ostia) is a possible expansion.
'Philippus Vergier possidet', late 15th or 16th century (f.i).
'Robert Lenayn' (f.i verso, cf. i recto and f.64, lower margin, upside-down), with a four-line verse asking for the book's return if lost: 'Mon maistre ma liasse icy, Rendes moy a luy s'il vous plaist, Il vont rendra grace et mercy, Car il est apparille et praist' (My master left me here, Return me to him please, He will render grace and thanks, For he is ready and eager).
'Frater Stephanus Tixier'(?) (f.1, upper margin).
The Convent des Grands-Augustins, on the quai near the Pont Neuf, Paris: inscribed in the 18th century 'Bibliothecae Augustinianae Generalis Collegii Parisiensis fol.10' [sic] (f.11). In 1790/91 a catalogue of 379 manuscripts was compiled, about 85 of which are now at the Bibliothèque nationale (see L. Delisle, Cabinet des manuscrits, II, p.246).
Charles F. Cutts (1871-1949).
Farsed version of the Pater noster by Petrus de Alliaco (Stegmüller no.6411.2) ff.1-2; subject-index lists ff.2v-3v; an arrangement of the Psalms, referred to in the heading as 'hoc psalterio breviato' ff.4-67v; prayer Tu domine verus doctor et prestitor, attributed in the upper margin to Cassiodorus, f.68r-v; a numbered list attributed to Cassiodorus of 'capitula' of Psalms 1-150, divided into three groups each numbered 1-50 (Stegmüller no.6637.4), ff.68v-75v; prayer to St Lawrence O Laurenti laureate. martyrio pre ceteris f.75v.
The arrangement of the main text is very unusual, because it not only rearranges the order of the psalms, but also of individual verses; the first pages of text, for example, contain the following sequence of verses: Pss. 1:1-3, 111:2-3, 111:7-8, 31:2, 111:5-6, 111:9, 40:2-4, etc.
The margins are full of references usually consisting of a letter, C, E, I, L, O, P, or R, each with an arabic numeral, e.g. 'o 10', 'p 2', 'r 3'. Their meaning is revealed as a subject-indexing system in the tables on ff.2v-3v, where the headings show that 'o' stands for oratoria, 'q' for querelatoria, 'l' for laudatoria, 'c' for consolatoria, and so on; thus 'o1' is 'Quandoque imploratur misericordia dei', 'o2' is 'Quandoque sanitas corporis et vita', 'o3' is 'Quandoque sanita mentis', and so on. These tables appear to have been considerably updated and revised, suggesting that the owner and author of the book continued to develop his indexing system after the manuscript was first written.
THE MANUSCRIPT, THE TEXT, AND THE INDEXING SYSTEM ARE APPARENTLY ALL UNRECORDED.